CARSON, CA - MAY 08: Forward Luis Landin of Houston Dynamo in action against Chivas USA during the MLS soccer match on May 8, 2010 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Add the Dynamo back to the list of teams without a Designated Player. The club released Luis Angel Landin yesterday after the zaftig Mexican striker failed to live up to his potential after less than a year in the league. Though Landin's DP status was in part due to the fees the Dynamo paid to get him to MLS, it nevertheless represents a disappointing end to the tale.

At the time of Landin's signing, Dom Kinnear was thinking out outside of the box on a DP for the Dynamo; Landin had yet to hit it big in Mexico, but because he was young (25) and talented, the risk was a reasonable one. Landin wasn't single-handedly going to put people in the seats like a Blanco or a Beckham, but he might be worth an investment. If Landin had come good, we'd all be pointing to Kinnear's approach as the way of the future on at least one of the DP slots each team holds. Perhaps it would balance out the "retirement league" element.

But it didn't work. Kinnear and his staff got it wrong for the most part. Landin scored twice in sixteen appearances with the Dynamo, never really looked like he would be anything more than a role player, and certainly wasn't worth the salary and the cap hit the club was carrying. The "whys" of the situation might be worth a look, though Landin isn't the first player to be missed on by Kinnear. He's just the highest paid.

Let's give Kinnear credit for this then: He pulled the plug quickly, and likely aware of the credibility hit for himself and the club. The Dynamo are going through a rough period, and the admission by management that their high-priced Mexican star was a bust can't be easy to make.

There may still be a path for MLS clubs to sign younger DP's with potential rather than older DP's with resumes. The safer choice is the former, even if the price tag is larger. Kinnear gambled and lost, but here's to hoping that doesn't deter the Dynamo or the rest of the league from taking chances like Dom's in the future.
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